What Is a Lack of Progesterone?

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

The importance of progesterone

Progesterone originates from the Latin word “gestare” which means “to bear or carry”. Such name has links to pregnancy and child birth, and for this reason a lack of progesterone can cause serious problems.

Progesterone is a steroid hormone found in women that is regarded as crucial to their reproductive health and well-being. Progesterone is an important hormone in relation to fertility. Progesterone itself is created during ovulation by the ovaries. The process is assisted by pregnenolone, which creates other steroid hormones such as cortisol, testosterone, and estrogen. Progesterone primary role is to aid in pregnancy, for this reason identifying the symptoms of a lack of progesterone is a fundamental importance.

Progesterone and Its Links to Fertility

Progesterone is capable of assisting a pregnancy

Progesterone helps with fertility in a number of ways, which makes a lack of progesterone a dangerous condition. For women who are pregnant, progesterone is capable of assisting a pregnancy by increasing blood vessel and tissue development. For women who are trying to delay pregnancy however, progesterone is capable of doing so by preventing ovulation. In addition to this, it is capable of producing mucus which makes the reproductive track harder to traverse and subsequently stopping the passage of sperm.

What Causes a Lack of Progesterone?

The consequences of a lack of progesterone

For pregnant women, the risks of a lack of progesterone can be particularly serious. Progesterone is capable of shedding the endometrium layer where embryo implantation happens. When the levels of progesterone fall it can cause a miscarriage during the first few weeks of pregnancy.

Many different factors could be responsible for a lack of progesterone in the body. The most common include:

  • Resistance to insulin in the body
  • Complications with medications
  • Chronic stress
  • Not enough exercise
  • Sugar rich diet
  • Complications with medications
  • Liver dysfunction

Symptoms of a Lack of Progesterone

Irregular periods are one of the symptoms of lack of progesterone

There are many different symptoms that could manifest in the event of a woman suffering from a lack of progesterone. Some of them can include:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Irregular periods
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression

How Is a Lack of Progesterone Detected?

There are three methods commonly used by doctors to detect a lack of progesterone in the body. These are:

  1. Taking a blood test after ovulation.
  2. The onset of a luteal phase less than 10 days can often be a indicator of a lack of progesterone.
  3. Charting of the fertility cycle.

What Are Some Alternative Treatment Methods?

Using methods such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or phytoestrogenic supplements entails a degree of risk of potential side effects that many women are cautious about. Therefore, many women turn to the use of hormone-regulating supplements, which contain many of the benefits of phytoestrogenic ones, but without many of the harmful effects.

For further information regarding on how to manage progesterone imbalance, follow the link below.

Related Articles

Pregnancy and Progesterone Levels Pregnancy and Progesterone Levels